Insurers advise home owners on flood preparations

Insurers advise home owners on flood preparations, says Jan Harris on September 24, 2012. With sixty-five areas of England on flood alert, the Association of British Insurers is warning home owners to keep insurance documents and emergency contact details in a safe, dry place. Contacts for gas, water and electricity providers should also be kept safe.The organisation is advising people to check their gardens, as winds of up to 60mph are expected to hit the north of England and south of Scotland.

Loose items in the garden such as outdoor furniture should be stowed away or secured.

More than a month’s rain is expected to fall in less than two days.

“Insurers expect bad weather to strike any time and have arrangements in place to minimise distress and inconvenience and help customers recover as quickly as possible, said Nick Starling, the ABI’s director of general insurance.

“Anyone who has suffered damage should contact their insurer straight away to get their claim moving.”

Anyone whose property is damaged should ring their insurer’s 24-hour emergency number and should keep any damaged property.

Last week a survey by property and environmental digital mapping specialists Landmark Information revealed that 55 per cent of house buyers expect the risk of a property flooding to be automatically assessed as part of the conveyancing process.

Although 80 per cent of those surveyed said they would not buy a property at risk of flooding, only 42 per cent investigated the flood risk before they bought their property.

Landmark Information’s director of environmental due diligence David Mole said: “The CML states that, in order to protect both the borrower and the lender, it is a standard requirement of all mortgages for the property to be covered by standard buildings insurance, including flood cover, for the full term of the contract.

“If insurance is not available, then it is highly likely that a purchaser will not be able to obtain a mortgage.”

Prospective house purchasers should obtain a desktop flood report for any property they are considering purchasing.

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